My beloved husband,
You have been gone from me forever and a day….mere minutes ago, as measured by my heart’s yearning. One thousand four hundred and fifty nine days, as measured by the Roman calendar. I love you.
There is no meaningful way, really, to measure the depth of the grief in my heart that you are gone from me. Perhaps the only true measure of this grief can be found in the exact measure of my Love for you. In these four years and forever and a day, my Love for you has only grown. I love you.
There is an emptiness to my life now, an emptiness that is the shape of you…your broad shoulders, your strong hands, the smile that lit your eyes as you looked out at life…as you looked at me. That emptiness that is in the shape of your lips on mine as you kissed me, and the grasp of your hand behind my neck. It is the shape of your arm around me as you pulled me into you as we danced, our bodies moving in synch across a dance floor.
The most painful thing I’ve ever done is watch you in that bed in your final weeks, tending to you, hurting for you, smiling for you, touching you, holding your hand as I sat in a chair next to you, exhausted but never as exhausted as you were, speaking to the nurses, trying to find ways to shield your body from the cancer onslaught and never succeeding, but trying again and again because it was unbearable and unacceptable that this was happening to you, my dearest husband. I loved you beyond measure in those moments, in a way that was more intimate than ever before.
The most painful thing I’ve ever done is draw the blanket over your face for the last time, kiss you for the last time, say goodbye to you for the last time. I miss you.
Life is lonely without you, D. I don’t know what to do with myself, don’t know what to do with the aching of my body without your touch, what to do with all the beautiful memories that remind me of times past and a future gone. All this Love I had for you, have for you…I reach out and you aren’t there to receive it, so my Love lingers in the air, an energy of its own. Love with nowhere to go.
I gaze up at the sky, day and night. The bright blue skies and the darkest blue of night, wondering. Wondering if you’re somewhere out there, seeing me, missing me. Are you there, D? Do you see me, wanting you, missing you, wishing you?
My soul requires broad open skies now, no hindrances blocking the way of the horizon in any direction. My soul craves the skies we opened our sunroof to when we traveled, the skies that meant freedom of the open road to us. There is such vastness in the depth of my sorrow that it can be contained only by the endless expanse of sky and Universe. Each cloud in the day, each star in the night…each is a marker for me. Are you there? Or there? Maybe there?
It isn’t as simple as missing you. Of course, I do, and there is no way to express the enormity of this missing. But it goes beyond missing you, D. More than me missing you is that you are missing from me. The French have a phrase for it…tu me manqué. You are missing from me.
I grow anxious at times, wondering what you would think of me now. Would you be proud of how I’ve lived without you? Would you be disappointed? I know that you’d hurt for me that I hurt so much without you, but I know you’d understand, too. Mostly I know that you’d be proud of how I’ve done this, even with all the pain and sorrow and missingness. I know this to the bottom of my heart. I want to do you proud, D, and I believe I have. I hope I have.
You are my dearest Love. You will always be me and I will always be you and our hearts will always be connected, no matter how far apart we are, no matter how long a time we are separated.
What remains of you is Love, strong and sure. You are Love and I am yours and you are missing from me and I miss you and I carry who you were and who we were in my heart day and night and I’ll carry our Love with me until my final hours and minutes.
And when the time comes, I hope, I hope, I dream, I wish, I demand, I whisper, I implore, I beseech…please find me. I don’t know where you are, but you know where I am and I need you to come find me.
Until then, my dearest, my most beloved husband, my lover, my heart and soul…
Tu me manques. Tu me manques. Tu me manques.